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- Displacement theories are developed for a variety of structures with the goal of providing real-time shape predictions for aerospace vehicles during flight. These theories are initially developed for a cantilever beam to predict the deformed shapes of the Helios flying wing. The main structural configuration of the Helios wing is a cantilever wing tubular spar subjected to bending, torsion, and combined bending and torsion loading. The displacement equations that are formulated are expressed in terms of strains measured at multiple sensing stations equally spaced on the surface of the wing spar. Displacement theories for other structures, such as tapered cantilever beams, two-point supported beams, wing boxes, and plates also are developed. The accuracy of the displacement theories is successfully validated by finite-element analysis and classical beam theory using input-strains generated by finite-element analysis. The displacement equations and associated strain-sensing system (such as fiber optic sensors) create a powerful means for in-flight deformation monitoring of aerospace structures. This method serves multiple purposes for structural shape sensing, loads monitoring, and structural health monitoring. Ultimately, the calculated displacement data can be visually displayed to the ground-based pilot or used as input to the control system to actively control the shape of structures during flight.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20070032936.
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